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Trivandrum Food Journey



By Anubhav Sapra


Trivandrum or Thiruvananthapuram is an old city located on the west coast of the state of Kerala. This grand city is the capital as well as the largest urban metropolis of Kerala.

In Trivandrum, we started with Mani Mess, a vegetarian restaurant in Manakkadu, near Sreevaraham temple. Since its inception, 37 years ago, this restaurant is run by Krishnamoorthy and his sister Thankam. As you enter the restaurant, there is a waiting area lined up with chairs for seating. Tokens are issued and the guests are asked to sit and wait for their table. The popularity of the restaurant can be gauged from the fact that the customers are generally asked, albeit politely, to finish their meals in fifteen minutes. Just like all other places in Kerala, this too is adorned with a sign outside saying ‘Meals Ready’ (or in some cases ‘Biryani Ready’, which is promptly removed the moment the offering gets over.

Their standard lip-smacking meal comprises of rice, Sambhar, Thoran (stir fry vegetables ), Avial (vegetables and shredded coconut), Pachadi, Achaar (pickles), Olan (pumpkin and grams cooked in a gravy of coconut milk) Rasam (soup made with tamarind, pepper and other spices), More (spiced buttermilk) , Parippuvada (lentil fritters) and Papad. The meal is served with red coloured padumugam powder and lukewarm water. The homely food along with a variety of delicacies in one plate is sure to tickle your taste buds.

After a perfect start to our foodie expedition, in the state of spices-Kerala,our next stop was Kochanan Sahib’s restaurant, a peculiar place without a nameplate. Standing tall since 1964, Kochanan Sahib is located at Karamana Junction near ICICI bank’s ATM. This place serves the best mutton curry, mutton roast and mutton biryani in Trivandrum. The mutton roast was cooked in thick gravy to be eaten with Parottas. The meals are served on the traditional banana leaf. Alongside is the typical Kerala accompaniments with the Biryani, onion Raita and lemon pickles.

For evening tea, we went to a popular tea shop nearby, Chaithanya Tea Shop, located in Sasthamangalam. This little tea-snack shop has a large variety of delicacies to die for- cakes, Pazham Puri, Bhaji and many others. We had a cup of tea with banana fry commonly known as Pazham Puri.  Horlicks and Bournvita have also gained immense popularity as a beverage here, and in all of Kerala.

Zam Zam restaurant, opposite MLA hostel in Palayam was our quick stop for Al Faham (Arabian grilled chicken) and Shawaya (whole grilled chicken).

As you head forward, Buhari hotel in Attakulhangara is another renowned food joint known for their mutton chops, mutton roast and mutton brain roast. The restaurant was started in 1956 and caters to its customers till midnight. The chops were cooked in thick gravy with lightly flavored spices and served with crispy parottas. Buhari Hotel also runs a delicious juice and shakes parlour, which has turned out to be a popular hangout place for youngsters. One can relish khammam and Sharjah milk shakes here. The tender coconut malai is crushed in coconut water and mixed with dry fruits- almond, figs, cashews with frozen milk to give it a thick consistency, making it an immensely refreshing drink. Another popular joint for shakes is Chithra shakes near Law college junction. Their herbal drinks are a must-try!

The hotel manager guided us to a local eatery named Hotel Krishna, a bit far away from the main city at Kattachalkuzhi in Balarampuram, close to Coconut Research Centre. The restaurant started by Krishan Kutty, 22 years back is now managed by his son Shahji. The place is known for its Chicken Perattu and Chicken Thoran. As you enter the shop, you notice a group of ladies cutting and chopping ‘Nadan’ chicken; which is equivalent to desi or country chicken. It is further marinated in local spices. The pieces are then fried in coconut oil with local flavours and spice mixes. A dry preparation, the chicken is served with meals that has tapioca, rice or puttu.

After having our fill at Hotel Krishna, we moved on to Hotel Rehmaniya (Kethel’s) in Chalai market road. The restaurant since its inception in 1949 is known for a single signature dish- fried chicken. The small sized chicken pieces are fried in coconut oil along with red chillies. The seeds of dried red chillies add a crunchy taste and texture to the chicken making it lip smackingly delicious. Fried chicken is served with Chapathi and the left over chicken pieces are converted into curry and lemon pickles. They also serve fresh lime water with the meals.

The two day food-journey in Trivandrum ended at Kovalam beach with the classic beach snack- Uppil Ettath – mango and gooseberry slices in salt water and green chillies. A joyous day, indeed!


Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
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Dettol Delhi Street Food Awards 2018

And the winners are-

  1. Aloo Tikki: Natraj Chaat, Chandni Chowk

Having served generations of Dilliwaale since 1940, Natraj Chaat is one of those places in town that has managed to retain its authenticity throughout the decades. It is only with them that simple chaat delicacies like Dahi Bhalle and Aloo Tikki have managed to become almost a heritage item in the heart of Old Delhi.

  1. Gol Gappe: Ashok Chaat Bhandar, Chawri Baazaar

You cannot talk about food in Delhi without talking about Gol Gappe, and someone who’s the best in the city for this snack is Ashok Chaat Bhandar. It serves up some of the most delicious mouthfuls of this tangy delight that you can find in the National Capital Region.

  1. Papdi Chaat: Shri Balaji Chaat Corner, Chandni Chowk

Located in the heart of the bustling streets of Puraani Dilli, Shri Balaji Chaat Corner’s Papdi Chaat is just the right kind of crunchy with balanced sweetness and their Dahi Bhallas are beautifully done, melt-in-mouth satisfaction. All in all, their dedication to doing simple things right wins hearts!

  1. Samosa: Chaina Ram Sweets, Chandni Chowk

Come holidays, and you see rows and rows of people lining up in front of this legendary outlet for their (extra) ordinary samosa! While this place is mostly known among the locals for its perfect sweets, the occasional passer by knows that their samosas are to die for.

  1. Banta: Vedprakash Lemon, Chandni Chowk

No matter what age you are or what the weather is like, whether you’re a regular visitor or a first-timer, Vedprakash Banta brings relief the tired body like nothing else. This drink is best enjoyed in the scorching heat. Their unique masala combination pumps life into the hustle-bustle of the city!

  1. Momos: Dolma Aunty, Lajpat Nagar

It is said that Delhi’s favourite street food, momos, came to the city with Dolma Aunty, and since then, the humble street-side vendor has established what a happy plate means to us.  The chutneys with the momos are particularly zingy and spicy. Dolma Aunty’s momos will always be the city’s first and last momo love.

  1. Chole Bhature: Chacha Chole Bhature, Kamla Nagar

Oh how we envy North Campus, Delhi University student but for a very specific reason! Chacha Chole Bhature has been a local favourite amongst Kamla Nagar residents and DU students, but when it comes to taste, nobody makes this North Indian fried favourite like them.

  1. Rajma Chawal: Jain Chawal Wala, Connaught Place

Rajma Chawal is very close to the hearts of those from Delhi, and always has some homely nostalgia and love attached to it. This lovely little street corner in the colonnaded centre of the city brings us a hot plate of nutrition and protein to us and makes it always feel like a Sunday afternoon at home.

  1. Bedmi Poori: Shyam Sweets, Chawri Bazaar

Bedmi Poori might be easily available but not everyone can get the sort of freshness with the dal-stuffed poori and the tanginess of the aaloo as Shyam Sweets. They have been bringing the perfectly authentic taste of Bedmi Poori to the heart (or stomach?) of Delhi since decades.

  1. Nagori Halwa: Shiv Mishthan Bhandar, Chandni Chowk

The only disappointment this legend holds is the possibility of its beloved Nagori Halwa, made freshly every morning in massive amounts, running out by noon! Have a hearty breakfast with the piping hot Nagori Halwa at this lovely restaurant and you will be left craving for it every morning.


  1. Parantha: Moolchand Paranthe Waala, Moolchand

How to make staple food like paranthas mind blowing? Moolchand Paranthe Waala is able to accomplish precisely that. Their crispy layers of scrumptiously buttered paranthas have made them a popular present day legend when it comes to authentic Delhi food.

  1. Kulfi: Roshan Di Kulfi

Karol Bagh – For anyone who has to face the blatant rush of Karol Bagh at absolutely any time of the week, the thought of Roshan Di Kulfi stands out like a calming consolation. Served perfectly with Kesar Rabri, this place is a go-to even in the coldest of the weathers.

  1. Nihari: Kallu Nihaari, Turkman Gate

Kallu Nihari overlooks the magnificent Jama Masjid and the Nihari looks deceptively like a simple dish garnished with shredded ginger and sliced green chilli, but the first taste of it will make you realise the reason behind the hundreds of people patiently waiting everyday for this difficult-to-be-perfected delicacy.

  1. Paan: Gupta Paan, Connaught Place

Gupta Paan, popularly known as Odeon Paan, has changed the way the city has looked at paan over the years. Introducing Ice Paan, Fire Paan, Chocolate Paan, and various other paan variations, Gupta Paan is not your average street-side tobacco seller.

  1. Seekh Kebab: Qureshi Kebab, Jama Masjid

Think of Qureshi Kebab and the immediate picture in your mind is that of biting into a juicy, tender, perfectly cooked piece of kebab. Located amongst a throng of excellent kebab-sellers, Qureshi Kebab is yet another outlet which wins over because of their effort and ability to leave a tummy happy.

  1. Chai: Singing Tree, CR Park

Delhi stays alive because of its tea sellers, and Singing Tree, CR Park, is a breather for anyone who happens to pass by. With tens of variations of street-side tea on the menu, this humble chai stall is a manifestation of all that a chai-break is meant to be: conversations, music, coming across acquaintances, the shade of a tree, and delicious, delicious tea.

  1. Kachori: Fateh Ki Kachori, Civil Lines

The name of the place itself is love for us. Again, something as central to street food as kachori is difficult to make in a way that it sets itself apart, and Fateh Ki Kachori, in all its humility, has done it for so long and for so many with its tasty topping of chole and chutney.

  1. Pakode: Khandani Pakode Wala, Nauroji Nagar

Khandani Pakode Wala does not only bring a twist to the regular pakoda by introducing varieties, but also makes sure that their food carries with it, a sense of homeliness and warmth. It is, truly, “khandani”, and has many a person’s evening on a rainy day or Monday.

  1. Chole Kulche: Lotan Kulche Waala, Chawri Baazaar

This vendor has been running on generations of love for the quintessentially Delhi dish – Chole Kulche. It embodies everything that the authentic dish is supposed to be, while also catering to an everyday Delhiite’s taste buds with its uber spicy chole and soft, heavenly kulche.


Special Category Awards


  1. Hall of Fame: Old Kheer Shop, Chandni Chowk

The name of this place carries with it, not just the thought of the sweetest dessert, Kheer, but also its tradition. You can taste generations of effort and love put into making this sweet dish so central to North India, in their little bowls of happiness!

  1. Women Food Entrepreneurs: ILHAM Afghan Cuisine

ILHAM is an initiative to provide financial stability to Afghan women who have settled in Delhi as refugees from Afghanistan. Supported by ACCESS, the venture has been received warmly by the public in the nearly one and a half year since its inception. Besides catering for events and other orders, these women also bring their extensive Afghani culinary knowledge to the table. They have been trained by ACCESS in entrepreneurship, and their story is as inspiring as it is heartwarming. We can’t wait to see how successful these ladies will be in the future!

  1. Best Street Food Fusion: Rajiv Bhai Ke Special Pizza Omelette, Palam Extension

This East meets West combination is as delicious as it is Instagrammable! Combining the desi street-side omelette with pizza toppings, makes this fusion dish unique, appetising and pretty perfect.

  1. Trending Street Food: KB Chaat’s Moonglet, Karol Bagh

When it comes to innovation, KB Chaat has made sure that street food does not only represent the usual varieties, but also always evolves with times. The Moonglet, a Moong Daal Omelette, is a fluffy dish stuffed with a variety of vegetables. This place is a saviour for creating a vegetarian omelette, making it the talk of the town.

Photo Album-

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
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Lotan Ji Chole Kulche

Chole Kulcha is a very popular street food item one can find at every nook and corner of Delhi. Delhites love to relish this chatpatta street food snack for breakfast, lunch, evening hunger or early dinner.

Lotan Kulche Wala is a popular Kulche wala situated in the chawri bazar. This small joint offers the best of chole with kuchle that are flavored with spicy sour chutney and chillies, which gives it a unique taste.

The combination of boiled chickpeas and a soft kulcha is garnished with chopped onions, tomatoes, powdered spices and a generous squeeze of lime. The Cholas are made in a copper vessel and topped with aloo and red spicy masala, which has to be the show-stealer here. Especially for those who love all things spicy and greasy. You can choose less spicy or extra spicy according to your taste.

The vendor has been sitting at the particular place for quite some years and anyone who is familiar with the area can guide the food enthusiasts to this eating joint. Mahaveer, the grandson of the founder, Mr. Lotan sits in Chhatta Shah from 7:30 am to 10:30 am. So try to reach here before 10 o’clock or you might turn back empty stomach.

This delicious recipe for chole goes back eighty odd years. The shop is run by the fourth generation of the family. Mahaveer is carrying forward the legacy, with the very same recipe and serving people with best Chole Kulche in town.

Along with chole-kulche, this shop also serves chana soup, with a cube of butter added giving an extra flavor to it. There is no proper sitting arrangement but one can find a patient crowd around Mahaveer, eagerly waiting to get their hands on the tasty Chole Kulche.

The dish is highly recommended for the chole kulche lovers. It is nothing like anything you have had before.


Location : 2358/108, Chatta Saahji, Dharam Pura Rd, Nai Wala, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, Delhi 110006

Cost for Two : Rs 100

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Shiv Misthan Bhandar

It is said that “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, and Delhi has no dearth of options when it comes to sizzling breakfast options. Be it vegetarian or non-vegetarian, you would find it all in this walled-city. So one day I went around old Delhi in search of some good vegetarian dishes, and was instantly recommended Shiv Misthan Bhandar’s bedmi aloo.

Shiv Mishtan Bhandar is one of the legendary shop in Chandini Chowk. Established in 1910, by Shri Mohar Singh Yadav, Shiv Mishtan Bhandar is recognized for a wide range of sweets and snacks of Rajasthani cuisine. Shiv Mishthan Bhandar is known to serve its customers with heavenly delights prepared with pure desi ghee.

If  you are there in the morning, you can dish on nagori halwa, a delicious dish, which consists of  small puris which you stuff with halwa or relish their famous bedmi, a delicious meal of two big puris stuffed with a dal mixture, which is served with potato sabzi and chole. Flavorful methi chutney and pickles are also served alongwith.

Apart from bedmi aloo, they have chholey bhature, kachori and samosa . They sell six kinds of sweets : jalebi and imarti, gulab jamun, suji halwa, mung dal halwa and malpua. Shiv Misthan’s jalebi is juicy, yet crisp.

Earlier, one had to stand and eat there, but now the place has expanded and remodeled with a decent seating space. If you are eating there, bearers keep filling your plate with sabzi at regular intervals.

There are only 11 items on the menu but Shiv Misthan keeps a strict check on quality. Few of its signature dishes are must try, like Bedmi Poori served with Aloo ki Sabzi along with spicy Methi ki Chutney & Choley, Halwa Nagori with Crispy Poori, Jalebi, Imarti.

When visiting Shiv Mishthan Bhandar, you are ought to leave your calorie conscious mind back home to fully enjoy the of taste and tradition of old delhi. My craving for bedmi aloo has been met, when are you going?


Location : 375, Kucha Ghasi Ram, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi

Cost of Two : Rs 100 (Approx)

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Haji Mohd. Hussain Fried Chicken

Jama Masjid is quite a delight for people looking for authentic street food of Delhi. The aroma of different kababs, parathas, mithais have served as crowd puller since time immemorial and one such gem of Old Delhi is Haji Mohd. Hussain Fried Chicken. Since 40 years, the modest eatery is serving some of the finest fried chicken in Delhi.

The mouth-watering Mughlai preparations are every non-veg lover’s dream come true. The chicken is first marinated in different spices, and then half-fried. The marination lends the perfect balance of spices in the juicy and tender chunks. The person who fries the chicken legs even checks the chicken piece with his hands to ensure the piece is well- fried and not undercooked.

When served, the portion comes with spicy chutney, green chillies and raw onions. The chicken has a crunchy outer and is super-juicy inside. It is complemented well with rumali roti, onions and tangy chutney.


For maximum crispness, the chicken is cut into small pieces to be fried in huge pan of boiling oil. They fry the half done chicken again before serving. Double frying the chicken results crunchy outside and moist and tender inside.

Don’t expect a very hygienic environment or an upscale service, as it serves in a small shop but offers lip smacking food at reasonable rates. Haji Mohd. Hussain Fried Chicken lies in the vicinity of Jama Masjid and opens by 11 in the morning and serves till 11 at night.

There is no seating available. One has to stand and eat or mostly people prefer to get these delicious treats parceled for home. The moist and tender delight would is sure to impress all chicken lovers in town.

A must try dish for all.


Location : 113, Matia Mahal Road, Bazaar Matia Mahal, Jama Masjid, New Delhi

Cost for two : Rs 300


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Khan Omelette Corner

Omelettes are the right choice of food at any hour of the day. Be it breakfast, lunch, evening snacks or early dinner. Omelette is a delicious breakfast delicacy prepared by shallow-frying beaten eggs added with grated cheese, diced onions, green chilies, coriander leaves etc. seasoned with salt, ground black pepper and served hot with brown bread.

A heaven like place for eggetarians and foodies, is Khan Omelette Corner- a small roadside shop standing between the busy market of Lal kuan and Fatehpuri, Delhi.

Khan Omelette Corner is known for its superbly flavorful Cheese Omelette. This place will change your perception of a variety of dishes that you can whip out off a humble egg. This food joint offers its visitors a lot of variety to choose from.

Moreover menu is designed for all type of food lovers and the best example is diet omelette for the ones who don’t want add more fat in their healthy preparation. Their light and fluffy omelette is made with egg white of 3 farm/desi eggs prepared in olive oil and served with brown bread.

Best part of Khan Omelette corner is the use of raw spices.  Another unique preparation as the desi omelette loaded with cheese slice, in-between and above. Don’t miss their lip smacking desi Egg Omelette.

We bet that one visit to this flavorsome place will make you fall in love with khan’s omelette. A combination of excellence and experience of making egg dishes is the reason which makes “Khan Omelette Corner” a popular stop for all the egg lovers.


Location : 48, Katra Bariyan, Lal Kuan, Near Fatehpuri Masjid, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi

Cost for Two : Rs 150

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Kuremal Mohanlal Kulfiwale

Kulfi, a typical Indian frozen dessert which needs no occasion to be relished. Me and my friends were wandering in old delhi in search of the best kulfi and had to stop by Kuremal Mohanlal Kulfiwale in Chawri Bazar.

The iconic Kulfi shop prepares delicious kulfis inside whole fruits. Is it fruit or kulfi? That’s one question that keeps everyone wondering as they indulge in this lovely concoction at this shop in Old Delhi.

Kuremal Family have been serving quality Kulfi, since 1908. It was founded by Pandit Kuremal, he learned the art of making Kulfi from a Old Delhi’s Halwai at the age of 14. He started his business on the cart with two basic flavours i.e. Mango and Plain Rabri Kulfi and expanded his business gradually with time.

Today their family owns two shops with name of Kuremal Mahavir Prasad Kulfi Wale, and Kuremal Mohan Prasad Kulfi Wale in the same street of Kucha Pati Ram. The outlet might be a basic one, but the preparations are mouth-watering. They have a variety of kulfis on their menu including milk based and juice based kulfis.

When we asked for their specialty, we were served a nicely-cut plate of stuffed-mango kulfi . Stuffed Mango Kulfi is one of their best sellers and the way of serving the kulfi is quite interesting. They use Alphonso mangoes for this delicious treat. The process is not simple as it is made by deseeding a whole mango which is then filled with Rabri and Plain kulfi. After the frozen process over, its skin is peeled away and served to the customers waiting in the queue.

This place serves more than 30 varieties of kulfis, which are broadly divided among Rabri Kulfi cream, Kulfi Julpeps, Tila Kulfi, Stuffed Kulfi, and some other specialties. These kulfis are not just loved by Delhiites but are a nation-wide rage.

The sweet delicacy is a must have in Delhi’s scorching summer. So what are you waiting for? head to this amazing shop today!


Location : Shop No. 1165- 66 Chawri Bazar, Sitaram Bazar Road, Kucha Pati Ram, Old Delhi, New Delhi, Delhi 110006

Cost for two : Rs 200 (Approx)

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Jain Coffee House

We often eat butter or jam toast or fruits for breakfast. But have you ever thought combining all these things in your sandwich? Sounds like a crazy idea right! But a little coffee house nestled in the narrow lanes of Chawri Bazar did not just try the formula, but the very unique combination also became their biggest USP. Trust me guys this fruity version of sandwich is a treat to the soul.

Jain Coffee house has been serving traders of Chawri Bazaar since 1948 with tea, coffee, sandwiches, shakes and the ultimate and the unique fruit sandwiches. I am sure, you cannot find such sandwiches in whole Delhi.

It is a very small shop in the corner. With just 2-3 tables and 5-6 stools to sit on. The place is run by two brothers and they usually get bulk orders for club sandwiches along with tea from the traders but their fruit sandwiches are to die for.

The taste of those fresh fruits along with butter and a little jam is simply marvelous. They use fruits that are available in the season like mango for summers. They have a wide range of fruit sandwiches from chiku, banana, pineapple to mixed fruit sandwiches.

The sweet variety has two slices of bread layered with two or three fruits, of your choice, cheese slices, kesar chutney, almond butter, paneer and fruit powder,this he told me is specially ordered from Bangalore.

On the other hand, the namkeen sandwich has paneer, tomato slices, coriander leaves, green chillies and salt with fruit. You can pick from pineapple, mango, banana, black and green grapes, apples and plums depending on the season.

They also serve various milkshakes, Tea and coffee. Sometimes I wonder that these small joints serve better coffee than any expensive cafe.

Apart from great taste, these sandwiches are pocket friendly and satisfy your taste buds and makes you go to your happy place.

Want to try something new and crazy, visit Jain coffee house for a uniquely delightful experience.


Location : 4013, Raghuganj, Near PNB ATM, Chawri Bazar, New Delhi

Cost for Two : Rs 150

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A Grand Affair

SXVIII – All Day Brasserie, Noida

The Radisson in Noida pops out of nowhere, between the busy streets of this burgeoning city. It does face the famous Mall of India, a prominent location but I stumbled upon it from one of the side entrances. The restaurant décor and design seem to be inspired by baroque architecture. It is a regal spread with gilded candle and lamp stands and pastel columns and curtains. The chairs are also throne like. We sat in a pleasant corner, as I usually do in restaurants, to eat without any disturbance and to people-watch from a distance.

The buffet looked inviting but we went for the lazy option, a la carte. First up was the Tuna Nicoise, a dish I had been meaning to try for a while. It is a salad hero-ing tuna, cooked rare along with potatoes, hard boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes and beans. It was a refreshing preparation and the tuna blushed pink just how I had seen it on TV.

The menu reflects royalty as well. It has a badge of the restaurant on the first page – SXVIII, which if you haven’t guessed already is S-18 (since it is located in Sector 18, Noida. I took a while to get that reference and the roman numerals. Maths has never been my forte). The badge features a scarlet crown over the letter ‘S’. The commitment to the theme is laudable.

After great deliberation, we decided on comfortable classics – pasta and pizza. We ordered the Penne Pomodoro Con Pollo (pasta with chicken in a tomato sauce), a recommendation by our waiter and their Parma pizza. Parma ham is a thin slice of ham dry-cured in salt to make the meat supple so it was definitely on the salty side. It was loaded with meat and garnished with ricotta and truffle oil.

We ended our meal with an array of little desserts to maximize our sweet consumption including Orange Chiboust, Banana Crumble and Cream Caramel. The restaurant was brimming with people even at 11 in the evening and waiters were zooming past. The newly renovated SXVIII seems to be attracting young and old alike in large numbers, offering them a grand fine dining experience to indulge on.


Location: Radisson Blu MBD Hotel, Sector 18, Noida
Meal for two: Rs. 4,000

Anjora cannot resist a good prawn preparation, finds home in Chinese food anywhere in the world but will eat almost anything if it looks appealing. She is a Potter head and has recently discovered pottery as a hobby (excuse the pun).